Wednesday, October 22, 2014

First Shots, "Scout-In-A-Box"

We were filming for SHOOTING GALLERY yesterday, a special on lever action rifles for self-defense, so I natured took the almost-completed BLR .223 Scout project to the range to put some rounds through it. Here's the Scout-In-A-Box, in a box (a very nice Negrini box, to be sure)...

You can see here one of the reasons I opted for a forward "scout" mount in the BLR...the BLR's higher profile receiver would be a little tougher to get into the box of choice if I had gone with a traditional mount scope. I also like that the scope, a Burris 2-7X Scout, remains with the barrel. Yes, lock up should be the same every single time without effecting the point of aim, but hey, it's the real world. If I'm taking the gun apart, I'd rather the scope stay with the barrel. I also like how close to the bore line I can get the scope, an advantage of the forward mount.

Here's producer John Carter shooting the BLR...note the loooooooooooong bolt almost to his nose! I wanted the gun with the same length of pull as my cowboy lever actions. The long bolt isn't an issue with .223 recoil, but it does scare bystanders.

I would say the gun is working out well. It is fast to shoot — we were using Winchester White Box 55-gr ball — and fast to run. Since we were limited to pistol bays, we didn't get into accuracy tested and ran the scope at 2X. I'll get the gun properly sighted in after we get through SG and THE BEST DEFENSE filmings.

Recoil was negligible, of course. I'm just getting the Andy's Leather Rhodesian sling set up like I want it.

The only issue any of us had running the gun was with one magazine. I gotta say that considering BLR magazines are $125 MSRP, the DAMN THINGS OUGHT TO WORK 100%! That's a discussion I'll be having with Browning, you betcha!

Tim Wegner from Blade-Tech was with us for the filming, and he was really taken with the little carbine. He brought along a Wild West Guns Alaskan Co-Pilot based on a  45/70 Marlin, so we had both yin and yang on the range, not to mention Marshal Halloway with is Taylor's Alaskan 44 Magnum take-down. Here's me with Tim's Co-Pilot...that's Marshal Halloway's thumb in the upper lefthand corner of the picture...LOL!

I will say that hands-down the Negrini is the best gun case I have ever used. It's not just a little's a WHOLE BUNCH better!

I have to say that the idea of a take-down lever action rifle in a reasonably small and light case was really intriguing to everyone, especially considering that BLR take-downs are available in such heavyweight calibers as .300 Win Mag and .450 Marlin (essentially a belted ballistic twin of the 45/70).

We'll be doing the complete story of the BLR Scout "legal in all jurisdictions" rifle on DRTV at the same time the level episode runs on SHOOTING GALLERY.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Watch This Space!

Yes, I'm on my way back to the Secret Hidden Bunker after a couple of days off...c'mon, that's not so so reasonable! I'm headed into the frenetic end-of-year filming schedule, so I wanted to take a short break before I climbed into the blender.

We went to Monterey, one of our favorite places, bicycled, watched otters and ate calamari. There are worse ways to spend altitude time! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Impressions -- DP-12 Shotgun

Over at DRTV:

In the car and seemingly unable to paste link!

Also Ed Head's piece on the Ruger 5.56 Sccut is really good!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Now THIS Is a GUN!

My Sweetie wanted to do some Appleseed practice this afternoon (she did great, BTW), so I thought I would take the JP Rifles GMR-13 9mm carbine along for the ride. I'd been working in the gun room sorting stuff, so I grabbed an old Aimpont Comp4 military red dot and ratcheted on the little carbine. I also took a selection of 9mm ball ammo, including Winchester White Box, Fiocchi and Armscor and a 33-round Glock magazine. Mostly what I wanted to do was see how the carbine ran…the Aimpoint wasn't sighted in but I figured it would be on paper.

We were shooting at 25 meters, the measured Appleseed range, on an IPSC target. I dumped a quick 20 rounds…a little low, but pretty good. I wasn't shooting for groups, just to settle the gun in. I "settled" until I ran out of ammunition, including one 33-round mag dump as fast as I could run the trigger

I was surprised at how well the carbine shot. A JP match barrel is, after all, a JP match barrel. And a 9mm carbine is like running a .22…no recoil to speak of. The JP trigger was, as you might expect, perfect.

You can see the dedicated Glock lower in the lousy picture above. Mags ejected cleanly with the enlarged JP button. The upper is one of JP's left side-cocker, the way God intended ARs to be run. As I've mentioned before on SHOOTING GALLERY, John created the GMR to have the operating feel of an MP-5, the gold standard for submachine guns (hence the side-cocker). I think he succeeded.

So what does one do with a 9mm carbine? This one, my plan is to use it in local 3-Gun competition (and, yes, I may suck it up and shoot a Glock 34…I've got an excellent stock of 17 and 33 round mags). I've got a couple of hundred rounds of Wilson 147-gr 9mm match I want to try in this gun. It's some of the most accurate 9mm ammo I've ever shot. Wilson also has a 125-gr match ammo I'd like to try as well. John says he's pulling 1 1/2-2 MOA groups at 100 yards, which is exceptional for 9mm.

I'll put a Burris MTAC (Warning! Sponsor Alert!) on it to sight it in.

Cliff Notes version…I liked the heck out of this rifle! I can't wait to wring it out.

Wrapped in Louisiana!

All done with the filming for SHOOTOUT LANE! Now there's about a billion hours of video to edit...glad that's not on my plate! I'm very very excited about this series. I also want to say how wonderful it has been to spend time with Jim Clark and his family and Jerry, Kay and Lena. They are amazing people, and I am proud to count them as my friends. Jim and I go way back…he was at the first "combat pistol" match I shot, and unlike me, he was pure shooting talent.

Today was going to be a match day, but the thought of a 3+ hour drive after just getting home from a week out was too much. Instead, I'll be working on the gun room. As I mentioned, the reloading benches are built and the presses installed. Now I need to see if I can find the brass and bullets! Not to mention the primers...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

An Ode to Purple Penguins

Penguins! It had to be penguins! This from NRO:
A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead. 
“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training documentgiven to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools. 
“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.
Hmmmmmm...far be it from me to create a "gendered space," but I would like to point out that:

1) I hate penguins
2) I hate purple
3) Neither boys nor girls are, in fact penguins
4) Neither boys nor girls are — except in a rare case emanating from Minneapolis — purple
5) I've seen more intelligent thought from a salad bar

Now that I've dealt with that crushing issue, lemme tell you why I bought a Tavor and not an AUG. First, I like AUGs. For some reason I liked the FS-2000 better, but I didn't buy it, either. I think it has to do with some indescribable element of feel. The Tavor just felt right with I shot it. I'm not a huge bull pup a lot of people, they always seemed like a nifty idea until I spent a little time with them. Every AUG I ever shot except for Cory Trapp's full auto had wretched triggers; the Tavor and the FS-2000, OTOH, had merely bad triggers. Neither "wretched" nor "bad" means "inoperable," BTW.  I'm hoping the new Geiselle gets me to "okay" on the Tavor.

I was also never crazy about the AUG's folding front vertical fore grip or the charging handle, but that's just nit-picking.

I find the Tavor comfortable and easy to run, which is why I want to use it in a class. Unless I shoot it under stress, I don't really know how it's going to perform.

Regarding interviews in the podcast, honestly it's such a pain in the butt I stopped doing them. DOWN RANGE Radio is the tail that wags the dog. Because Marshal and I kinda arbitrarily created the show, it's technically not part of what I do for OC...well, it kind of sits on top of what I do. It takes me about a day to put a podcast together. Some just flow; others are like dental work. When I added in the interviews, it also added in a lot of extra work...scheduling, the electronic hook-up, editing interviews, etc. Honestly, I just ran out of hours. Especially this time of year, when I have SHOOTING GALLERY, THE BEST DEFENSE and now SHOOTOUT LANE in production. That all may change in the future.

Time is so dear these days I'm starting to panic about upcoming SHOOTING GALLERIES, where I need to have a bunch of rifles with scopes mounted and sighted in. The various scopes and scope mounts are here, but I'm not sure when I can get to a long range range, so to speak.

In other small changes, I'm shifting from HKS Speedloaders to 5-Star for the revolvers I take on the road. I got a few 5-Stars originally for guns like the Taurus Judge and the .454 Ruger Alaskan. They're drastically overbuilt, and I like that.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Everyone Hates Clowns

Yeah, well. Later today it's back to the range on the 1000 yard shot. We're on our bazillionth scope mount, I think.